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Part 1
In the 1940s, after the second world war, former army men in the United States started removing parts on their bikes that were deemed too big, heavy, ugly or not essential for the basic functions of the bike. Fenders, turn indicators and even front brakes were removed. The purpose was to lighten their bikes for extended driving performance.
Part 2
The idea of stripping a bike of all none essentials such as the front fender and other unnecessary parts is older than the first appearance of the chopper. In the 1920´s owners of Harley Davidson’s ‘J’ Series V-Twin began to alter their bikes by, for example, choosing wheels with smaller diameter and shortening the frame of the bike. Resulting in stylistically better looking bikes with enhanced performance compared with stock bikes.
Part 3

The phase “California Cut-Down” caught on and in the 1930ies manufacturers like Harley Davidson and Indian followed that “Cut-Down” trend.  To increase performance the front fender was removed and placed in the rear, creating a ‘bob-tail’. The birth of the ‘bob-job’. Significant for a typical Bobber is a shortened rear fender (bobbed), a lowered stance and often a muted basic paint scheme.

Part 4

In the late 1950s more radically modified motorcycles emerged in California, US. Original frames were lengthened or stretched or frames were built from scratch. Some characteristic features of a chopper were modified steering angle with increased rake, lengthened forks, hardtail frames, apehangers or short dragbar  and many choppers were equipped with a sissy bar, connecting the rear fender with the frame. The sissy bar is a typical feature of many choppers.

Part 5

The idea of removing all unnecessary parts of the bike, to chop the motorcycle, resulted in the term CHOPPER.
In the 1969 movie Easy Rider, Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper drove chopped bikes called “Captain America” and “Billy Choppers”. The bikes, two of the most iconic motorcycles ever built, were built by Ben Hardy. The movie led to several motorcycle companies starting to include chopper influenced styling in their factory bike lineup. Although the motorcycle manufacturers never abandoned rear-suspension and other parts required by law. These bikes are not to be called real choppers.

Part 6
Over time, different styles evolved. One well known is the Frisco style. Originated in San Francisco, California, the typical Frisco bike has highly raked front end, high mid foot controls, a thin appearance and lots of ground clearance. Often resulting in a high kickstand. Significant for a Frisco style bike is also a highly mounted gas tank. Harley-Davidson Sportster gas tanks are a common choice. One could say that narrow Frisco style bikes are built for fast driving in traffic and in winding mountain hills.
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